Hannah and Elizabeth – 1 Samuel 2

… “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)

The latter two-thirds of the genealogy of Jesus Christ extends from King David to King Jesus.  The birth of these two key members in the heavenly line, each heralded by a prophet, was separated by many hundreds of years.  David was anointed by the prophet Samuel, born of Hannah, and John the Baptist, born of Elizabeth, prepared the people for the arrival of Jesus Christ.  John performed Jesus’ baptism, where the Holy Trinity of God was present through Jesus, the voice of the Father from above and the Holy Spirit descending from heaven like a dove.

The scripture verse quoted above about the Spirit being the builder of the church rather than human might or power came to Zerubbabel, who fell somewhere between King David and Jesus in the genealogy.  Zerubbabel was building a temple in Jerusalem after the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon, when God told him that the true temple will be built by the Spirit of God, not by man.  Its arrival and growth will not depend upon any earthly power or status.  God’s new, worldwide temple would come after Jesus’ resurrection, when the Holy Spirit was given from above to reside in the hearts of all believers, covering all nations on the earth.

Both heralding prophets, Samuel and John the Baptist, were of a miraculous origin.  The mothers of Samuel and John were both unable to conceive children by natural means.  Both spent years in prayer about it before being blessed with an intercession by God, which allowed them to bear their child.

Hanna’s story was covered in a previous meditation, “The Deepest Prayers”.  John’s birth account can be found in Luke 1 and in the later meditation “Lifting the Curse”. Here the angel Gabriel addresses John’s father, Zacharias :

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John…15 …He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” Luke 1:13, 15-18 (NKJV)

Like the prophet Samuel with King David before him, God chose John the Baptist to prepare the people for an eternal King.  Both kings were born of humble origins.  King David was anointed king while still a shepherd boy, almost an afterthought within his own family.  And Jesus, the focus of all the prophets ending with John, was born in a sheep’s manger rather than in a palace or as part of human noble society. 

The Lord did this so that, like the miraculous births of their heralding prophets, Samuel by Hannah and John the Baptist by Elizabeth, there will be no question that the Spirit of God is providing all of the might and power required to build His church, to God’s glory and not to peoples’.


Looking back, where can you see the hand of God working “quiet miracles” in your own life?

It is easy to miss just how often God has touched our lives with blessings.  Many find it valuable to spend some time with the Lord at the beginning of each day to get re-centered in Him, to read His word, pray for others and for the coming day, and spend a moment being grateful to God for all He has done.

Father God, thank You for being with us and loving us every moment of our lives. Like Hannah and Elizabeth, there may be times when we wonder if You hear our prayers, but we know that You do and will work everything out in Your time through the might and power of Your Holy Spirit. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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